William Shih

Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Department of Cancer Biology
Office: SM1058B
44 Binney St.
Boston, MA 02115
Tel: 617-632-5143
Email: william_shih@dfci.harvard.edu


Lab Size: Between 10 and 15


We explore design principles for self-assembling molecular machines, primarily using structural DNA nanotechnology to build our model systems. We seek to apply our knowledge towards construction of artificial systems that help solve problems of biological and medical interest. Currently we focus on building tools for molecular biophysics (NMR structure determination of membrane proteins, single-molecule assays) and for therapeutics (drug delivery, tissue engineering). For many applications, our present capabilities are too primitive. Thus we also investigate enabling technologies for increasing the complexity of programmable self-assembled systems.


Liedl T, Högberg B, Tytell J, Ingber DE, Shih WM. Self-assembly of 3D prestressed tensegrity structures from DNA. Nature Nanotechnology 5, 520–524, 2010.

Dietz H, Douglas SM, Shih WM. Folding DNA into twisted and curved nanoscale shapes. Science 325, 725–730, 2009.

Douglas SM, Dietz H, Liedl T, Högberg B, Graf F, Shih WM. Self-assembly of DNA into nanoscale three-dimensional shapes. Nature 459, 414–418, 2009.

Douglas SM, Chou JJ, Shih WM. DNA-nanotube-induced alignment of membrane proteins for NMR structure determination. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104, 6644-6648, 2007.